In 1935, the School of Planning and Research for National Development (SPRND) was set up as a postgraduate evening school within the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture. Here, graduates in architecture and other disciplines were able to take courses in planning and the diploma in town planning, ratified by the Town Planning Institute.
The main instigator was Eric Alan Ambrose Rowse, then Assistant Director of the AA School, but shortly to become its Principal. When he resigned as Principal of the AA School in 1938 , Rowse remained in charge of the SPRND. He took the School out from under the umbrella of the AA, in 1940 , when it moved to its own premises in Gordon Square, London, setting up an advisory board of influential people with an interest in planning. The first board included Sir Raymond Unwin (chairman), Lord Horder (vice chairman), Francis Rowland Yerbury (secretary and treasurer) and Philip H Massey (editor of research). Staff included the architect, Justin E Vulliamy and sociologist Ruth Glass. The same year, before enlisting in the army, Rowse brought in Jaqueline Tyrwhitt as deputy. The name was changed to the School of Planning and Research for Regional Development (SPRRD) and, with War Office funding, a correspondence course in town planning for servicemen was set up. Government funding continued after the war, and completion courses were run for demobbed servicemen.
The School had very close links to its sister organisation the Association for Planning and Regional Reconstruction (APRR), with the School of Planning using its library. With Rowse back as Principal in 1947 , the emphasis was on team-work for training in regional planning. However, after the 1951 Royal Institute of British Architects Schuster Committee Report on the training of architects and planners, government funding was withdrawn and, despite protests from a variety of influential quarters, the School closed in 1954 .
Percy Johnson-Marshall took the School of Planning and Research for Regional Development (SPRRD) intensive completion course, between in 1946 , in order to gain his Diploma in Town Planning. A School of Planning Club, with Percy Johnson-Marshall as Secretary, was in operation between 1948 and 1954 .